Queer Imaginings: On Writing and Cinematic Friendship

Wayne State Univ. Mar. 2023. 416p. ISBN 9780814350218. pap. $44.99. FILM
Gerstner (cinema studies, CUNY; Queer Pollen: White Seduction, Black Male Homosexuality, and the Cinematic) combines three decades of his essays, analysis, interviews, and reviews in this collection, which examines the connections between filmmaking, cinematic writing, and the idea of the queer auteur who functions as both artist and critic. Touching on creators such as Ramon Novarro, Charles Demuth, Marcel Duchamp, Vincente Minnelli, James Baldwin, Marlon Riggs, and Christophe Honoré, Gerstner explores the concept of cinematic friendship, which encompasses not only literal friendships between creators but the comingling of film and film criticism with elements of other art forms. The book’s level of critical theory situates itself outside the realm of the most casual readers, but it’s a good addition to libraries for serious film study for its exploration of how the works of queer auteurs intersect with sexuality, feminism, race, and the gaze of desire.
VERDICT The range, both in chronology and subject, of this collection should provide much food for thought to dedicated scholars of auteur cinema and its intersections with queer filmmaking and criticism.
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